Bangladesh has declared an area totalling about 8.8 per cent of its Exclusive Economic Zone in the Bay of Bengal as Marine Protected Area as part of a recipe to maximise the use of marine resources.
Foreign Minister Dr A K Abdul Momen, while delivering the country statement at the plenary session of an international conference in Lisbon on Thursday, also said the measure has been taken to eliminate 'Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU)' fishing in its maritime waters.
The government also implemented its National Plan of Action in this regard in 2019.
Bangladesh is firm on its commitment to achieving all targets of the Sustainable Development Goal-14 titled 'Conserve and sustainably use the ocean, sea and marine resources for sustainable development, the minister told his audience at the 2nd UN Ocean Conference, the foreign ministry said in Dhaka on Friday.
Secretary at the Maritime Affairs Unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh Rear Admiral (Retd) Md Khurshed Alam, Bangladesh Ambassador to Portugal Mr Tarik Ahsan and other officials were the delegation members accompanying the Foreign Minister at the UN meet.
During his deliberations, the Foreign Minister attached importance to marine science for "eradicating poverty, contributing to food security, conserving the world's marine environment and resources, helping to predict and respond to natural and anthropogenic events and promoting sustainable development of the oceans and seas".
"Under the able leadership and guidance of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh settled the maritime-boundary issues with both the neighbours (India and Myanmar) and is poised to collaboratively utilize the resources," he told the conference.
The government has amended Bangladesh Ship Recycle Act 2018 and set a target of compliance with the Hong Kong Convention by 2023.
Bangladesh also announced new actions aimed at ensuring safe ship recycling by 2023 and is the first amongst developing countries to take initiative to ban manufacture of single-use plastic shopping bags, the FM said.
Stressing the importance of capacity development and even distribution of scientific knowledge, he viewed those disparities in scientific capacity in terms of financial, technological, and human resources between developed and developing countries must be addressed for sustainable management of the oceans.
He affirmed that Bangladesh is ready to cooperate in keeping with its capabilities to actively engage with the developed countries willing to transfer marine science and marine technology on fair and reasonable terms and conditions in accordance with the provisions of part XIV of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
The Foreign Minister arrived in Lisbon Thursday on a two-day visit to Portugal to lead the Bangladesh delegation to the UN ocean conference 2022.
Later, the minister visited the permanent Shaheed Minar situated at a public park of Lisbon, named Campo dos Mártires da Pátria, and paid his tribute to the language martyrs by placing floral wreaths.